Dublin, the ferry across with Gary our tour manager and Simon (on drums) having breakfast as the winds lashed the side of the ship, it was everything i dreamt of being in a band. I had made it. Two toast, beans eggs and bacon, a mans morning. Before the first show i went to get […]
Dublin, the ferry across with Gary our tour manager and Simon (on drums) having breakfast as the winds lashed the side of the ship, it was everything i dreamt of being in a band. I had made it. Two toast, beans eggs and bacon, a mans morning. Before the first show i went to get a haircut, a short walk away from the hotel. The guy had a nice tattoo of an eye on his hand, he seemed a little worn out, it was a Monday morning, so i gave him the benefit of the doubt, i took off my glasses. Later back at the hotel, i saw myself in the mirror i had been butchered. I could have cried. He said he would end up in a betting shop or a pub for the rest of his life….he might. I raced into town and found a Turkish barber who repaired the damage and I’m so grateful for that young lad, suddenly i was transformed back to that guy again. It was a close shave. Being in Dublin was a game of two half’s for me, the first show was fine and i enjoyed the set, even though it seemed too long. The second night was less of a walk in the park, more an uphill climb. I had been in a long mood all day, i can’t say why, but it lay me low and i sadly spread it around the dressing room. But the set was still too long. We play well, we should do, its been many years of clubs theatres and sports halls. Vicar Street is a good venue to play the people seem to like the standing, and it was good to see my Cavan chums and get to briefly catch up with them. I liked my hotel and the calm of my room, only ruined by little amounts of sleep, and the haircut, and then i raced to get the early ferry to avoid force nine winds on the way back across the Irish Sea. Nick Kershaw was on that ferry the one that left later, i felt for him, we exchanged messages and sick bags. I sat and eat my chips in a nice hotel called The Castle Inn, its in Colywn, well worth a stay. A pub with very nice grub, and lovely staff. A day off, a car wash in the rain and a look in at the venue to see the production day taking place. Suddenly two trucks, 14 crew and catering. We grew up over night, now the shoes have to fit. Now the set has to speak its mind. We shall see. A night off so catch up time with words for PC and some emails and thoughts, poor Mrs D is at home keeping camp, I’m home in four sleeps. Sadly its the end of Fred Perry shirts, the cold has latched on and its now back to the white shirts of winter, one to iron before bed.
Hey Chris — hope you get this…? thank you for everything…the book, the blog, of course the music. As you struggle with tour grind, please realize how amazingly important each show is to so many people. Your music had been by my side for so many years, now –35+yrs – and has helped me through so many life events — relationships, deaths, illness, substance issues, more. The new song is nothing short of an anthem. My 50th birthday present last month was front row tix to the Boston show, and I splurged and will be in Providence, too. Touring must be hard because you can’t really see the good you are doing, for one person at a time. The magic cant be measured. Much love to you, Glenn, and the band, and thank you for disrupting your life so that mine can be better! Xx
And so i wake up to this email from my website, and gratitude flows over me like a shower of warmness, Thank you.
Ryll in North Wales, a very empty looking town with plenty of second hand stores and a beech that slips for miles. The show tonight was the first with full production and a very full set, i was exhausted after the show trying to make all the guitar changes and learn to be back in a concert setting, where most people sit and watch. They get up at the end but we have to cattle prod with older songs, it works. Back at the hotel it was barrel morning, a very early delivery of beer woke me from my not so resting place. The following night the bells of the local church donged all night on the hour and on the half, i was not a well rested boy for the drive to Birmingham. The show is on the road.
Our first night in Birmingham was 2 hours and 5 minutes long with guests on stage from the wonderful Nine Below. I really enjoyed the grown up feeling the set gave me, like i was in one of those bands that play for hours and send people home happy with new and old songs rattling about in their ears. Debate is a daily thing in the band as we discuss the set and the best way to move forward, ever forward. There is a schizophrenia within the band that twitches from time to time, we want to be grown up and adored for our wonderful songs and then we want to let our hair down and swing out like the youthful thinner people we, or i certainly, used to be, its a balancing act. Birmingham is very much being rebuilt and the thought of walking around filled me with dread so i spent all day on the second day in my dressing room, i felt cosy in the time travelling department of my day. I arrive at 1pm and left at 11pm, a record for me in any dressing room, but with the help of catering and a nice sofa i made home for myself in the delicious afterglow of the Symphony Hall. Show two was amazing, and our agent Neil came up from London to watch the show, he said, its too long. He is right. But who will listen, a day off at home will let things settle, and what a day off, slumped in my favourite armchair with my wonderful Louise being so kind to me, giving me space and ever so loving. Sunday a day of rest and a watch of the XTC doc on tele, now thats a band, and thats a story, we all have them to tell. At this end of the track i can look back and see that im not unique at all, im just like all the rest. And its mental health day.
These days I feel so blessed to be on stage with such young fine people, Yolanda skins the top of the cream from the milk on every show. Steve on the perc, so nice, a lovely lovely man. Simon and Stephen both top players and people. Glenn the ever plate spinning talent, sounds and plays fantastic, and then there is me. The barnacle on the bottom of the past, sailing on into the future. Having the Nine Below champs out on stage a nice mix too, its all going off. But, my head, its trying to find its place. Car, motorway, hotel bed, dressing room and stage. Catering. Sobriety and walking the talk, its all in the mind, that untidy place full of voices. Egg shells and canopies are on every tile of the present moment, but its what i signed up for, and im blessed for all of the above, im just not tucked up in bed with it all yet. Next stop, somewhere else.